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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Shaping the canvas

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When it comes to talent and creativity, the Philippines is never lacking. We have so many raw talents waiting to be explored and nurtured.

The Shell National Students Art Competition (NSAC) provides a supportive environment for young artists to display their talents. It has become a crucial platform for Filipino artists to blend creativity, passion, and resilience into their work.

Established in 1988, Shell NSAC is a prestigious art competition that aims to discover, encourage, and promote promising young Filipino artists. Over the years, the competition has launched the careers of numerous renowned artists.

Filipino visual artists Thomas Daquioag, John Tabingo, and Ronald Ventura, celebrated locally and globally, exemplify the nurturing influence of this prestigious art competition.

Their creative journeys showcase their unique voices, dedication to their craft, and significant impact on the Philippine art scene.

Ronald Ventura’s works take inspiration from Renaissance art as well as contemporary artists

Daquioag’s determination and success demonstrate that his art is driven by passion and authenticity.

Inspired by the mastery of Juan Luna and National Artist Carlos “Botong” Francisco, Daquioag aspired to follow in their footsteps.

“Art is not just about creating something beautiful. It is also about expressing your emotions and telling your story. When I look at the work of Juan Luna and Carlos Francisco, I feel the raw emotion and passion that they put into their paintings. Their work inspires me to be honest and authentic in my own art,” shared Daquioag.

Participating in Shell NSAC served as a vital turning point, fueling Daquioag’s competitive spirit and validating his emotive artistic vision.

“Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t achieve your dreams. If you are passionate about art, then go for it. Work hard, be patient, and never give up on yourself. One day, you will be successful,” said Daquioag.

Exploring the connection between colors and cultures, Tabingo embodies resilience and triumph. His Shell NSAC journey began in high school with an initial disqualification that only strengthened his resolve.

“But I didn’t give up. I learned from my mistake and came back stronger the next year. My experience taught me that it is important to be persistent and to never stop learning,” he shared.

John Tabingo’s piece was born from his grandmother’s sketch

Transforming a sketch lovingly created by his grandmother into an award-winning watercolor piece, Tabingo learned invaluable lessons from his first Shell NSAC victory, including the importance of self-belief, the inspiration drawn from esteemed judges, and being exposed to different cultures.

“When I traveled to Manila from Iloilo, I was struck by the difference in the art scene. The colors and styles were so different from what I was used to. This inspired me to experiment with my work and to develop my unique style,” shared Tabingo.

Ventura envisions a dynamic Philippine art scene where artists support and promote each other. His work, influenced by art from the Renaissance to contemporary creators, embodies diversity.

“Art is a reflection of your vision. It is important to study the materials and techniques of art, but it is also important to be true to yourself and to express your unique vision,” enthused Ventura. 

His research and travels through different artistic periods have shaped his perspective, with the Shell NSAC helping him build connections and gain international recognition. Ventura believes artists can enhance the Philippine art scene by staying true to themselves and expressing their unique vision.

“We can also help by being supportive of each other and by promoting the work of other Filipino artists. Together, we can make the Philippine art scene one of the most vibrant and dynamic in the world,” said Ventura.

Daquioag, Tabingo, and Ventura see room for growth in the Philippine art scene, with challenges like income sustainability, recognition, and international exposure still to be addressed. Yet, their unique voices and innovations contribute to the evolution of local artistry.

Artists act as catalysts for change, and this is true for Daquioag, Tabingo, and Ventura. Their commitment to sincerity, self-fulfillment, and dedication to their craft highlight art’s transformative power.

Balancing personal expression and societal impact, they are creating new pathways in the Philippine art scene.


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